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Manage Test Equipment Calibration Processes with SAP Plant Maintenance and Quality Management

by Dr. Gaetano Altavilla, Senior SAP Practice Manager

October 27, 2017

Learn how to manage the calibration processes for a plant’s test equipment using the Plant Maintenance (PM) and Quality Management (QM) functionalities with options available in the SAP system. In particular, find out how to manage your calibration activities to complete business transactions using master data from integrated modules and configuration done based on a company’s business processes and strategies using standard options available in the SAP system.

To ensure that specified performance criteria are always met, the test equipment being used must be regularly checked and calibrated. You can use the functions of test equipment management to perform the following actions:

  • Manage equipment
  • Plan and schedule inspections
  • Execute orders and inspection lots for processing calibration inspections on equipment

The business transactional flow for the calibration activities is managed mainly by the Plant Maintenance (PM) and Quality Management (QM) modules, as shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1
Main activities related to calibration services in SAP QM and PM

The business activities that are shown in the system are outlined in Table 1.

Main master data preparation

Main transactional data

Test equipment: Test equipment has its own tab on which the specific data relating to the production resources/tools (PRTs) is to be maintained. Note that you can manage the test equipment itself as equipment master records equipment.

Create maintenance plan

Schedule maintenance plan

Display and process calibration order:

time confirmation and technical completion

Create a Master Inspection Characteristics (MIC): Describe the properties that must be measured

Display and process inspection lot: Record results recording, record errors, and perform usage decision (UD)

Work center: The task list usage is important here so that the relevant test equipment can be used in maintenance-specific task lists.

Display PM Notification

Maintenance plan: Generates an order and an inspection lot. Contains an inspection plan for the test equipment.

Verify equipment status change, change cycle modification, and update measurement documents

Table 1
Business activities in the SAP system related to calibration services

Let’s delve deeper into these steps in the SAP system now.

Main Master Data Preparation

As shown in Table 1, main master data preparation consists of maintaining production resources or tools (PRTs) in equipment, creating a Master Inspection Characteristic (MIC), creating a task list, and creating a maintenance plan. I now walk you through each of these steps.

Maintain the PRT in the Equipment

The PM department can maintain the PRT data in the equipment master data either by using transaction code IE02 or by following menu path SAP Menu > Plant Maintenance > Management of Technical Objects > Equipment > Change. Then, enter the equipment number you need to update and press Enter. This action opens the screen in Figure 2.


Figure 2
PRT view of equipment

In the PRT data tab in Figure 2, you need to maintain the Task list usage, Start reference, and End reference fields.

Create an MIC

The QM department can create an MIC by using transaction code QS21 or by following menu path SAP Menu > Logistics > Quality Management > Quality Planning > Basic Data > Inspection Characteristic > Create. This path takes you to the screen in Figure 3. For my example, you use an already existing characteristic as shown in the screen in Figure 3.


Figure 3
MIC ZERO (General Data View)

To create an MIC, enter the following information:

  • The MIC code
  • The plant code
  • The type of characteristic (qualitative or quantitative)
  • The status
  • Language key
  • Texts

Click the Quant. (quantitative) data button in Figure 3 and the system shows the screen in Figure 4. Here, for your characteristic, you can define the following main options: Decimal places, unit of measure, lower and upper limits, Target value, and lower and upper plausibility limits. In Figure 3, the MIC is ZERO because in this example it is the name for the characteristic to define zero point deviation during the equipment test procedures.


Figure 4
MIC ZERO (Quantitative Data)

Click the Control indicators option in Figure 3 and the system shows the screen in Figure 5.


Figure 5
MIC ZERO (Control Indicators) details

In this screen, you can specify the following details:

  • Lower specif. limit: If set, you must enter a lower specification limit for the inspection characteristic.
  • Upper specif. limit: If set, you must enter an upper specification limit for the inspection characteristic.
  • Sampling procedure: If set, a sampling procedure must be assigned to the characteristic in the task list.
  • Required char. (characteristic): If set, the inspection characteristic must be inspected, which leads to the fact that a UD can only be posted if you have confirmed the inspection results for this inspection characteristic.
  • Classed recording: If set, the inspection results for the inspection characteristic are recorded as classed values.
  • Defects recording: If set, an inspection characteristic is rejected. During results recording, the function for recording defects for a characteristic is automatically called up and a recording procedure can either be initialized by the user or performed in the background.

Click the continue icon  in Figure 5 and the system shows the screen in Figure 6.


Figure 6
MIC ZERO (Control indicators) additional details

In this screen, you can specify the following details:

  • Fixed scope: If set, the number of inspected units must correspond to the precalculated number of units to be inspected for results recording.
  • Test-equi assignment: If this indicator is set, you can assign test equipment to the inspection characteristic in the task list.
  • Docu. if rejected: If set, additional text has to be entered in case the characteristic has been rejected during the results recording.
  • RR change docs (create change documents during results recording): If set, change

documents are created for this inspection characteristic when results are recorded based on characteristics.

  • Record measured vals: If set, measured values for this quantitative characteristic have to be inspected and confirmed.
  • Print: If set, the inspection characteristic is printed on the inspection instruction.

Click the Catalogs option in Figure 3 and the system shows the screen in Figure 7.

In this screen, you can specify the defaulted defect codes for rejection.


Figure 7
MIC ZERO (Assign defect codes to catalogs)

If you click the Catalog button in Figure 7, the system lists the defect codes, as shown in Figure 8.


Figure 8
Display possible values for defects of measuring instruments

In Figure 9, you can find the details of the General Data screen related to the characteristic FULL. FULL is the name of the characteristic to define full-scale deviation during the equipment test procedures.


Figure 9
MIC FULL (General Data)

In Figure 10, you can view the details of the Quantitative Data screen related to the characteristic FULL.


Figure 10
MIC FULL (Quantitative Data)

In Figure 11, you can view the details of the first screen for the Control Indicators Data related to the characteristic FULL.


Figure 11
MIC FULL (Control Indicators) first screen

In Figure 12, you can find the details of the second screen for the Control Indicators Data related to the characteristic FULL.


Figure 12
MIC FULL (Control Indicators) second screen

In Figure 13, you can find the details of the assigned inspection catalogs codes related to the characteristic FULL.


Figure 13
MIC FULL (assign a defect code for rejection)

Create a Task List

The purpose of the task list is to define a set of operations that can be used in the PM and QM module during the creation of the Maintenance Order.

To create a task list, you can either use the transaction code IA05 or follow menu path Logistics > Plant Maintenance > Preventive Maintenance > Work Scheduling > Task Lists > General Maintenance Task Lists > Create. This action displays the screen in Figure 14. For my example, you display a Task list that was already created in the demo system, as shown in the Figure 14.


Figure 14
Display a task list

In Figure 15, you need to select the appropriate task list and click the Operation button to display the list of operations in the next screen (Figure 16).


Figure 15
Select a task list

In Figure 16, you can define or check the relevant operation details, such as control key, duration, unit of measures, and activity type. Then, to save the data, click the save icon .


Figure 16
Operation details for the task list

Create a Maintenance Plan

A maintenance plan that generates maintenance orders with inspection lots is to be used to regularly monitor test equipment. Within the PM-QM link, this should also provide the basis for further processing of the actual data determined in QM. You want to carry out a calibration inspection at regular intervals for measurement equipment, and wish to use a maintenance plan for this purpose. Create a new single-cycle plan and incorporate the general maintenance task list for the calibration inspection. Create an object list with two pieces of test equipment. 

To do so, either use the transaction code IP40 or follow menu path Logistics > Plant Maintenance > Preventive Maintenance > Maintenance Planning > Maintenance Plans > Create > Single Cycle Plan. This path takes you to Figure 17.

No reference object is required. The order type is responsible for generating the inspection lot (an inspection type for the order type is created in Customizing). The order type must be configured so that the order generated is released immediately.


Figure 17
Create a maintenance plan

In the Maint. plan cat. (maintenance plan category) field in Figure 17, select Maintenance Order from the options and then press Enter. The system then displays the screen in the Figure 18.


Figure 18
Specify details for a maintenance plan (single-cycle plan)

Specify details in the following fields in Figure 18:

  • Cycle/Unit
  • Planning plant
  • Order Type: Enter PM06 for calibration
  • Main WorkCtr (work center)
  • Priority
  • Maint. (maintenance) Planner Group
  • MaintActivity Type (maintenance activity type)
  • Business Area 

In the Task List section, enter the data that you entered in Figure 15. After you press Enter the system opens the screen shown in Figure 19 in which you can select the Yes radio button and enter a date to specify the cycle start date. Click the enter icon (the green check mark) to save the record.


Figure 19
Enter a start date for the maintenance plan

Transactional Data

I now walk you through the steps for main transactional data listed in Table 1.

Schedule a Maintenance Plan

To schedule a maintenance plan, you can either use transaction code IP10 or follow menu path Logistics > Plant Maintenance > Preventive Maintenance > Maintenance Planning > Scheduling for Maintenance Plans > Schedule. In the initial screen that opens (not shown), specify the maintenance plan created in Figure 15, press Enter, and follow menu path Edit > Start.

The system then opens the pop-up screen in Figure 20.


Figure 20
Specify the start date for the schedule maintenance plan

In the Start of cycle field specify the start date of the cycle and click the enter icon to save your data. The system then displays the information message shown in Figure 21.


Figure 21
Confirmation message that maintenance plan was scheduled

After you schedule the maintenance plan, note that the system has created a calibration maintenance order and Inspection Lot documents automatically. I explain how to display the calibration maintenance order and the Inspection Lot documents in the next section.

Display the Calibration Maintenance Order

To display the calibration maintenance order, you can either use transaction code IP10 or follow menu path Logistics > Plant Maintenance > Preventive Maintenance > Maintenance Planning > Scheduling for Maintenance Plans > Schedule.

In the initial screen (not shown), specify the maintenance plan created in Figure 15 and press Enter. The system then opens the screen shown in Figure 21 in which you click the display icon . The system then opens a screen with the details shown in Figure 22.


Figure 22
Display the inspection lot (data for the lot origin)

Display the Inspection Lot

To display the inspection lot, you can use transaction code QA03 or follow menu path SAP Menu > Logistics > Quality Management > Quality Inspection > Inspection Lot > Processing > Display.

Alternatively, you can also click the display inspection lot icon  in Figure 22.

The system then displays the UD data. Select the Equipment tab to view the details shown in Figure 23.


Figure 23
Display the inspection lot (inspection specifications)

Select the line item and then click the choose object’s details icon  to display the inspection point data, as shown in the pop-up screen in Figure 23.

Results Recording

In my example, you determined during the calibration inspection that equipment 10003540 has both an invalid zero point deviation and an unacceptable full-scale deviation. You can see the general view of these two characteristics in Figure 3 and Figure 9. The values for equipment 10003541 for both characteristics lie within the permitted tolerances.

Based on this data, enter the inspection results using transaction code QE51N or by following menu path SAP Menu: Logistics > Quality Management > Quality Inspection > Worklist > Results Recording. 

Expand the relevant operation in the dialog structure (left column) and double-click the corresponding equipment for the inspection lot. Then, you can evaluate the characteristics.

In my example, you have accepted the results record for the Equipment 10003540 and operation 0020 and rejected the rest. Save your data. The system then displays the details shown in Figure 24.


Figure 24
Enter and save record results for the inspection lot

Note: Upon the saving of the rejection, the system automatically creates PM notifications.

Record the UD

You can record the UD either by using transaction code QA11 or by following menu path Logistics > Quality Management > Quality Inspection > Inspection Lot > Usage Decision > Record. The screen in Figure 25 then appears.


Figure 25
Record the UD (enter the UD code)

The inspection lot last processed appears by default (or enter the inspection lot number). Choose the relevant code in the UD code field (for example, A for usable) and save. Note that when you save the UD, the window for changing the status of objects and the cycle modification factor appears.

One response to the valuation of equipment 10003541 could be, for example, a reduction of the cycle modification factor, which results in the maintenance cycle being shortened. A malfunction report (category MQ) was generated with two items (zero point error and end of scale error) and corresponding error codes. (I discuss the malfunction report for category MG in the next section.) Measurement documents were still generated for all the measurement readings. 

Note that after you save the UD, the system displays the details of the status change for objects or equipment, as shown in the Figure 26. You can also view these details by using transaction code IE03 and verifying that the status of the equipment has been updated to NPRT PRT, which is not ready for use.


Figure 26
Status change for objects or equipment

After you press Enter to save your data, the system shows the confirmation message shown in Figure 27.


Figure 27
Confirmation message that the UD was saved

Display PM Notifications

Usually, you can display the PM notifications either by using transaction code IWS3 or by following menu path Logistics > Plant Maintenance > Maintenance Processing > Notification > Display.  

In my example, however, use transaction code QA13 and in the initial screen (not shown) enter the Inspection Lot document number and press Enter. The system opens the screen shown in the Figure 28.


Figure 28
Trigger a display notification

Click the Defects tab and select the item you want to consider to trigger the notification display. Click the Display Notification button, as shown in Figure 28. The system then displays the information as shown in Figure 29. Note that the Notification Type is MQ - Error msg. from QM.


Figure 29
Display PM notification (item overview)

Update the Confirmation Time in the Maintenance Order

To update the confirmation time in the Maintenance Order, you can either use transaction code IW41 or follow menu path Logistics > Quality Management > Test Equipment Management > Calibration Inspection > Order Confirmation > Individual Entry. Enter the calibration order and operation in the selection screen and then press Enter. The system displays the screen in Figure 30.


Figure 30
Order confirmation data for operation 0010

Specify the following confirmation data:

  • Personnel no.: The employee ID for the person who actually performed the work
  • Actual Work: The number of hours spent to complete the work
  • Reason: The reason for variance
  • Confirm. (Confirmation) text: Any reasonable text to justify the work done

Then, check that the rest of the defaulted entries are appropriate and save the data. The system displays a confirmation message as shown in Figure 30.

Flag the Maintenance Order as Technically Complete

Before making this step you should verify that all activities against the calibration order have been competed (i.e., confirmation time for all operations).

To update the PM Order as technically complete, you can either use transaction code IW32 or follow menu path Logistics > Plant Maintenance > Maintenance Processing > Order > Change. In the initial screen (not shown) enter the calibration order and operation in the selection screen and press Enter. The system displays the screen in Figure 31.


Figure 31
Order is technically complete

In the menu bar in Figure 31 click the Order button and follow menu path Functions > Complete > Complete (technically) and save the data. The status of the order is then updated to TECO – technically completed.

Run Reports

All affected and authorized departments can display the details of the QM and PM documents related to the calibration processes (for example, Quality Notification, Inspection Lot, and PM Orders) using the information system reports available under the QM and PM modules.

These two menu paths can be used to retrieve transaction documents created in the QM and PM modules: 

In QM, follow Plant Maintenance > Information System > Report Selection > Information Systems Information Systems system reports available under the QM Centers Capacity/Maintenance.

In PM, follow Processing/Maintenance Planning/Maintenance Task Lists Quality Management > Test Equipment Management > Information System > Equipment/Maintenance/Calibration Inspection.

Customizing Activities

Now I describe the most important customizing activities that you need to check or complete to enable the external processes.

Define the Order Type

In PM Customizing, you need to create an order type for the calibration inspection. To create an order type, follow menu path Plant Maintenance and Customer Service > Maintenance and Service Processing > Maintenance and Service Orders > Functions and Settings for Order Types > Configure Order Types. This path takes you to Figure 32. In the Cost accounting profiles section of Figure 32 enter the details provided by the costing department. In the Reorganization section, enter the residence time for archiving purposes in the Residence Time1 field. Select the Release immediately indicator to release the order upon its creation in one step.


Figure 32
Define a calibration order type

Assign the Inspection Type to the Order Type

In PM Customizing, you need to assign the order type for the calibration inspection to the previously defined inspection type for PM. To complete this step, follow IMG menu path Plant Maintenance and Customer Service > Maintenance and Service Processing > Maintenance and Service Orders > Functions and Settings for Order Types > Assign Inspection Types to Maintenance/Service Order Types. This path displays the screen shown in Figure 33.

In Figure 33, you can see that the plant 1000 and calibration order type PM06 combination has been assigned to inspection type 14 (inspection in PM).


Figure 33
Assign the calibration order type to the inspection type

Inspection Point

In QM Customizing, you need to define an inspection point of category Equipment or Functional location. The inspection point is entered in the task list header. To complete this step, follow menu path Quality Management > Quality Planning > Inspection Planning > General > Define Identifier for Inspection Points. This path displays the screen shown in Figure 34. In the Fields tab populate the fields as shown in Figure 34


Figure 34
Display inspection point for equipment (fields)

Now click the Valuation tab (Figure 35) to maintain the following default values:

  • For valuating the Inspection Point
  • In case all characteristics have been accepted
  • In case at least one characteristic has been rejected


Figure 35
Display the inspection point for equipment (valuation)

Define a Control Key

In QM Customizing, you need to create a control key that requires an inspection characteristic for the task list. You define a new control key relevant for QM activities and externally processed operations. Note that without the control key set as described, the external process cannot be triggered from the production order’s operation. 

To complete this step, you can either use IMG transaction code OPJ8 or follow menu path

Tools > Customizing > IMG > Edit Project (SPRO) Pushbutton: SAP Reference IMG. Production > Shop Floor Control > Master Data > Routing Data > Define control key. In my example, use the control keys QM01 and PM01. These are standard SAP control keys and are displayed in Figures 36 and 37. Make sure that the check boxes enclosed in a red border in Figures 36 and 37 have been set in your system. 


Figure 36
Display control key QM01


Figure 37
Display control key PM01

The control key is used in the operation of the production order. To enable the external activities functionalities with the QM module, check the Insp.char. required check box and enter the value + in the External processing field. Save the data by clicking the save icon.

Follow-Up Actions

In QM Customizing, follow-up actions can be defined that can then be linked to the codes for UDs. If a particular code is assigned when the UD is made, the assigned follow-up actions (for example, updating measurement readings, status changes, and so on) are executed automatically. To complete this step, follow menu path Tools > Customizing > IMG > Edit Project (SPRO) Pushbutton: SAP Reference IMG. Quality Management > Define Follow-Up Actions. Then select in the pop-up screen (not shown) the activity’s option Follow-Up Actions. This action opens the screen in Figure 38.


Figure 38
Define QM_PM follow-up actions
 

In Figure 38 select the line item and select the folder Function modules. The system opens the screen in Figure 39. In this screen you can define the list of function modules that will be triggered upon the UD.


Figure 39
Define function modules relevant to the QM_PM follow-up action

I now describe the follow-up actions for the three function modules shown in Figure 39:

  • QFOA_QM_CHAR_TO_PM_E_POINTS: This follow-up action can be used to transfer QM inspection results to the equipment or functional locations in PM as measurement documents.  
  • QFOA_OBJECT_STATUS_SET: Follow-Up Action: Set Equipment Status/Change Cycle Modification Factor 
  • QFOA_ORDER_TECHNICAL_COMPLETE: Follow-Up Action: Technically Complete PM Order. This follow-up action can be used to transfer QM inspection results to the equipment/functional locations in PM as measurement documents. AftrPst (after posting) check box: If this check box is selected, the function module is called after posting. Synchronous Update check box: If this check box is set, the dialog transaction and follow-up action are updated synchronously.
Define Inspection Types

In this step you verify the customizing settings for the inspection type 14 – Inspection in the Plant Maintenance. To complete this step follow menu path Tools > Customizing > IMG > Edit Project (SPRO) Pushbutton: SAP Reference IMG. Quality Management > Quality Inspection > Inspection Lot Creation > Maintain Inspection Types. This path takes you to the screen in Figure 40

For my example, I have used the standard Inspection Type 14 - Inspection in Plant Maintenance. This inspection type is linked with the notification type MQ – Error msg. from QM.


Figure 40
Display inspection type 14

Maintain Inspection Lot Origins and Assign Inspection Types

In this step you make sure that the Inspection Type 14 - Receiving Insp. from External Processing has been assigned to the Inspection Origin 01 - Goods Receipt and the Inspection Type 04 - Goods receipt inspection from production to the Inspection Origin 04 - Goods Receipt from Production.

To complete this step follow menu path Tools > Customizing > IMG > Edit Project (SPRO) Pushbutton: SAP Reference IMG. Quality Management > Quality Inspection > Inspection Lot Creation > Maintain Inspection Lot Origins and Assign Inspection Types. This path takes you to the screen in Figure 41.


Figure 41
Display entries for inspection origin 14

You have to link the lot origin 14, the Inspection in Plant Maintenance 14, and status 4 - Released (general). Note that these settings should already have been set as standard upon the QM module activation. 

Select the first line item in Figure 41 and then double-click the Inspection types for the origin folder. The system displays the details shown in Figure 42.

Note that the entry listed in the Figure 42 should have already been created by the SAP system upon the activation of the QM module. In my example, the entry you need to enable is 14 as origin of the Plant Maintenance and 14 as inspection type.

With these entries, the system automatically creates an inspection lot upon the scheduling of a maintenance plan.


Figure 42
Display the link between inspection type 14 and origin 14

Define Default Values for Inspection Type

In this step you define default values for inspection types 14.

To do so, follow menu path Tools > Customizing > IMG > Edit Project (SPRO) Pushbutton: SAP Reference IMG. Quality Management > Quality Inspection > Inspection Lot Creation > Define Default Values for Inspection Type. Then, double-click the line item containing the Inspection Type 14. This action opens the screen in Figure 43.

In the inspection lot, with inspection type 14, enable the usage of Inspect by task list, Record characteristic results, and Automatic usage decision indicator. Leave the rest of the fields as defaulted. In an SAP system, the data is always saved using the save icon .


Figure 43
Default values for inspection type 14

Define Notification Types

In this step you define the Notification document type that will be used during the vendor’s Quality Notification processes. To complete this step, follow IMG menu path Tools > Customizing > IMG > Edit Project (SPRO) Pushbutton: SAP Reference IMG. Quality Management > Quality Notifications > Notification Creation > Notification Type > Define Notification Types. When you double-click the notification type MQ, the system displays the screen shown in Figure 44.


Figure 44
Display notification type MQ

In Figure 44, verify that the following values are set: 

  • 02 as Notification origin. It defines the screen sequence control for a Notification Type.
  • 1000_QM as Catalog profile. It restricts the list of values for the information contained in the quality notification based on your business requirements.
  • 26 as Update group statistics. It is used to determine the fields that will be created for the statistics in the Logistics Information System (LIS).

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Dr. Gaetano Altavilla

Dr. Gaetano Altavilla (Gaetano_altavilla@hotmail.com) is a senior SAP practice manager. His focus is on presales and delivery of SAP application solutions for large international corporations and SAP knowledge management in EMEA.

In his 18 years of SAP application experience, working for many multinational companies, such as Procter & Gamble and Hewlett-Packard, he has covered a wide range of ERP logistics areas, focusing on MM, WM, SD, LES, PP, PP-PI, PLM (QM, PM, PS) modules, CRM (TFM), SRM (EBP), SCM (APO) and MES (ME) components.

Dr. Altavilla holds a degree with first class honors in mathematics from the University of Naples and he is certified in many SAP modules. He also has experience in ABAP/4 and ALE/IDOCs. He has participated in numerous industry conferences, such as the SAP Skills Conference in Walldorf at SAP AG.



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